Out with the new, in with the old
An exploration of tried and tested methods and technology of old, repurposed for modern design needs.

Africa as a continent isn’t just rapidly developing, it has already rapidly developed. Many great things are taking place in all industries, especially in ICT. Over half a billion people use a mobile device in Africa, half of which use a smartphone. Millions of apps are being produced to be used on these smartphones, as well as a rise in the production of wearable tech and the evolution of AI.

The future is bright, the future innovative, the future is new.

Yet what may at first appear to be a great business opportunity to improve the world, is often becoming a huge waste in time and money as the needs of the ends users are not accommodated for. UX specialists can change this, using solutions often forgotten, however their role is both rare and poorly understood.

What can we learn from the past to improve our future?


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Dr Gyles Morrison

Surviving the UX Labyrinth – A Doctor’s Guide

You are surrounded by chaos and confusion. You keep working on dying, if not lifeless, projects. UX is a well known cure, but no one wants to swallow it. You feel like giving up and have all but lost all hope that design thinking actually makes a difference. Not only do we need prevent the worsening of bad UX in projects, we need to prevent it all together. During this hands on workshop, participants will develop their practical design thinking and problem solving skills. to prepare you as venture forth into the UX Labyrinth. Although relevant to professionals in any industry, this session will explore the numerous challenges and opportunities for UXers in the healthcare sector. All examples with teach theory and develop skills that are transferable to any UX project. These skills includes using Soft Systems Methodology to tackle "wicked problems" in healthcare. Get to know the major healthcare stakeholders through the use of personas Identify the many challenges facing UX design in healthcare Explore opportunities for UX design in healthcare Create a "Rich picture" outlining a "wicked problem" in healthcare Write "root definitions" to discover ways to improve healthcare UX.  
Richard Graham and Matt Wate

Is that really what you want? Putting the why before the what

This workshop aims to teach cross-disciplinary teams how to effectively unpack objectives in order to get to the true objective or opportunity a project represents. Participants will be taught how to interrogate a vague or overly prescriptive objective using design thinking principles so that everyone in the team agrees upon the true objective, the why, and can work collaboratively on a solution that actually provides value to users, meets a business objective and is built from the input of the entire team.
Richard Omollo

User research moderation workshop

User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. This field of research aims at improving the usability of products by incorporating experimental and observational research methods to guide the design, development, and refinement of a product. User researchers often work alongside designers, engineers, and programmers in all stages of product creation and idealization. In this workshop, we will take a deep dive into user research: How to, as a designer or researcher, connect with users and understand their needs. This session will be sections of engaged, hands-on learning that will deepen and strengthen moderating skills so that the most meaningful data can be brought forth. This workshop is intended for those starting out in UX as well as seasoned and experienced researchers as it integrates techniques in the psychology of connection with classic methods of data collection,moderation tips, and tricks. The user research moderation workshop aims to give participants, engaged opportunities to learn and practice. We will cover the whole process of conducting research sessions, from writing a script, to lab set-up, to moderation! Through practical exercises, you will learn connection skills that make research
Richard Omollo

Keynote – Re-thinking design critiques

Years ago, the more forward-thinking designers (mostly graphic designers) urged the development of positive design criticism, believing that it was part and parcel of a mature profession. Fast forward, design has evolved through graphic design to digital design, iteration design and AR design among other disciplines. This has seen the re-emerging of design critiques. At Booking.com, we have re-thinked and redefined design critiques to help designers seeking feedback to receive it in a focused way, providing them a clear path forward. From these sessions, designers uncover new insights that can help change the course of their design work in a meaningful fashion through a critical exploration of their work. This talk is about how we have re-designed and run design critique sessions at Booking.com, which helps us Identify problems in our products and address these problems early on, well before it becomes too difficult to approach these problems in a different way. I will be also take the audience through how to initiate, run design critiques the Booking.com way and how get the most out of these sessions.
Yaron Assabi

Customer Journey Design for Integrated Customer Experience

In a competitive market , customers have a lot more choice than ever before and they have varying preferences in terms of the channels they use based on the different activities in their journey to find the right product or service. A customer might start research via mobile or online and complete the purchase in-store or via the phone . It is up to the Brand to make it easy for customers to select their product or service and assist them in making the right decision. In the battle to stay relevant, Brands need to keep UX and content fresh and current to keep the interest of prospective customers. In-store design, mobile optimization and online ease-of-use might address much of the experiential design, but it’s the smallest moments that can lead to the biggest return, or rather “micro moments” that would lead the path to purchase. DSG specializes in UX design for integrated customer experience and I will share some practical local case studies and insight.
Jaco van den Heever

The UX challenges and opportunities of the National Health Insurance (NHI)

The South African government has proposed the implementation of a new National Health Insurance to revamp our entire public healthcare sector. With this proposal come many opportunities for service design improvements and leveraging technology to the benefit of our population. This talk aims to clarify what the NHI is, how it affects all of us, but mostly, within the context of the growing interest in Healthcare User Experience, to highlight some of the key design challenges and opportunities that the NHI offers to UX professionals. It will include some showcase projects that have been piloted as part of initial NHI Proof of Concept research initiatives.
Kate van Niekerk

Ethnography and self-reflection in design: adapting to new African contexts

Discrimination still persists in design, both physically and digitally. This has been emphasised recently by the controversies around racial and gender-based discrimination on platforms such as Airbnb, Snapchat and Uber. As Africa accelerates into digital and technology spaces, additional layers of exclusion are emerging, linked to the variety of social, economic and even political contexts on the continent. AS UX specialists in a South African context, we need to better empathise with our users and reflect on our own positionality to achieve true inclusivity.
Matthew Wate

They already do that, matching the real world experience of your users

In 99% of cases, the products we develop for online users is not a new industry or idea. What we actually do is take something users already do (bank, watch tv shows, buy stuff or gossip with their friends) and make it easier, faster or somehow better. This talk unpacks how a UX process should understand the real world experience of a product and build a solution that matches the mental models that define it. It then explains how this mental model can be evolved and improved, eventually replacing the real world example.
Liezel Stegmann

International UX Benchmark 2017- App channel in the banking industry

The UXalliance conducted an international UX benchmark of 45 banking apps to gain a better understanding of the features and functionalities offered in order to identify trending functionality and best practices in both the secure and unsecure areas of the apps.
Diego Dalia

Empathy for who?

Designers are users’ advocates. They should be able to understand users’ needs and to design solutions that will not only solve their problems, but also meet their needs and go beyond their expectations. In order to do that, designers should be able to empathise with their users and serve as their voice. By putting themselves in the users’ shoes, they will be able to understand the common needs that users have, and the common problems that they encounter when using a product or a service. These insights can be developed into opportunities for innovations, to build continuous knowledge, identify opportunities, uncover needs, reveal their challenges and figure out what factors influences the users’ journey. These are core skills for those who work in the UX field, and designers are becoming more and more aware of the need of feeling closer to their users. This intense desire of feeling empathy, might generate a disruption in their practice: designers tend to lose their focus, and to see themselves as the real end users; moreover this behaviour might be the cause of a lack of alignment of the team members to objectives that direct them towards user outcomes. With this talk I aim to provide tips on how to avoid these issues, telling stories from real case studies that belong to current and previous work experiences. These stories will help the audience to understand what are the best methods to enable designers to empathise with their users and when to use them. I’ll describe how important is to adopt User Centered Design methodologies like Design Thinking to keep all the team members on the same page; finally I’ll explain how and with who else designers should be able to develop empathy in order to be successful in their work, since users are important, but we don’t have to forget that we work with other human beings like developers and business people.
Gyles Morrison

Keynote – Healthcare Innovation Lessons from the Old School

With minimal literature resources and most success stories not being heard, working in healthcare UX can be a rather daunting task. Where do you begin if you have never worked in healthcare before? New healthcare technology and service design projects pop up daily around the world, often to get a slice of the 135.9 Billion Dollar pie that the industry is worth in 2017. There is demand for inventing over truly innovating is huge, and is sadly costing us more than just money, sleep and sanity. This talk will cover the unique, profound and thought provoking outcomes of projects from across the globe.They have proven that with the right skills, knowledge and techniques, navigating the healthcare UX Labyrinth can be like a walk in the park.
David du Plessis

The UX of agriculture

Agriculture is the last domain set to join the network. This poses a question: How might we bring digital culture and growing food closer together? By 2050 the majority of the world’s 9 billion people will live in cities. Mass agricultural systems will by current estimates be unable to produce enough food for the world’s population. And mass agriculture is entangled in a web of wicked problems that will only get worse: pollution run-off, climate change, biodiversity loss, etc. But there is hope if we dare to re-imagine our experience and interaction with growing food. New technology will allow smaller scale farms to re-emerge in cities and compete with industrial farms. With positive consequences for the future of work, the environment, health, and happiness. This talk will explore the emerging trends in the UX of agriculture: - send information, not food: sensors and big data - personal food computers: growing food locally - designing digital tools to empower urban food growers - using data to drive policy change  
Marli Ritter

IoT & Accessibility – creating a “smarter” new world

The Internet of Things (IoT), also called SMART technology has taken the tech world by storm the last couple of years. Internet-connected devices are being used in innovative ways to improve quality of life for all people. IoT potentially offers a revolutionary, fully accessible and “smart” world by improving interaction between objects, their environment and people. While the main focus of IoT is to make the world smarter, it can only be achieved if the right information is accessible at the right time, through technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Assistive Technology (AT). The core principles of these futuristic technologies are buried in the history of UX throughout the 20th century and by going back to the basics, we can create a “smarter” new world.
Wayne Hall

How to be a good voyeur and not be arrested (Essential guidelines to effective user testing)

It is easy to get tied up in the details and numbers out of a test to try and prove that the solution is going to improve users lives. What we often forget is how and when a product will be used. Users are typically poor at placing themselves mentally in a situation. We need to avoid making them do this as far as possible and try bring them as close as possible to the situation in which they will be using the product. This talk explores what and how one needs to think about when doing so. Some practical examples are shown on how this worked for us
Gillian Meier

Mobile UX: Future Proof your SEO

Google does everything with user experience in mind, and with more than 60% of searches globally being done from a mobile device, Google announced that it will soon be switching to the mobile-first index. In the age of Voice Search, Virtual Assistants, Progressive Web Apps, and Accelerated Mobile Design; this can all seem very overwhelming to web designers. This session explores 10 key takeaways to future-proof your site for the Mobile User.
Chantal Louw

Curating and the art of the physical user journey

Could one learn from and apply the rules used in curating gallery and retail space for a sticky user journey to create happy UX? Inspiration for great UX can come from the physical user journeys in galleries and retail stores! Chantal Louw speaks about the rules she used to create sticky spaces. Within the walls of a gallery and a retail store, a few rules govern the layout of work to ensure that a narrative is followed, an emotion created and a perspective managed. For fifteen years, my focus has been in creating spaces that are sticky. There are 10 Rules I follow when curating galleries and retail, and that I have started to apply within the UX context. As the tech world becomes AR and VR focused, we can look to those who create and curate physical space to learn about how people inhabit space  


Chantal Louw

Business Development and User Design

Chantal Louw works with Polymorph in business development and user design, with Inspiring Fifty as the South African lead and is organising (more…)

Yaron Assabi


I am an entrepreneur with a passion for ICT and have been consulting in the ICT industry for the past 20 years in the US, UK and South Africa. (more…)

Richard Omollo


Richard Omollo is a Kenyan designer who moved from Nairobi, Kenya to Amsterdam Netherlands in August 2015. He is a self taught designer (more…)

Richard Graham

Head of Experience Design

Design has been my mistress for the past 20 years. After studying said mistress, and having the importance of shape and form drilled into me, (more…)

Wayne Hall

UX Specialist

Wayne is a User Experience Specialist at DStv Digital Media. He came from a background of programming, including (more…)

Diego Dalia

Design Lead

I’m a designer with a background in Service & Interaction Design. I have lived, studied and worked in (more…)

Marli Ritter

UX Lead

I’m a cat lady from Cape Town, who lives for UX & wine. I’ve started off as a Graphic Designer and through the past 18 years of exploring different industries, (more…)

Dr Gyles Morrison MBBS

Clinical UX Specialist

Gyles studied at Bart’s & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, graduating in 2011. After three years of clinical practice, (more…)

Alan Williams

Experience Design Consultant

I am an Experience Design and Customer Centric Strategist. I facilitate the product output and design & development process to deliver on a customer (more…)

Kate van Niekerk

User experience designer

Kate is a user experience specialist at Deloitte Digital, with a special interest in content strategy, discrimination in design, and accessibility. (more…)

David du Plessis

Experience Design Director

David is Experience Design Director at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg. His passion is connecting designers (more…)

Liezel Stegmann

User Experience Consultant

Liezel is a senior user experience consultant and heads up operations at Mantaray. She has worked at Mantaray for the last 10 years, (more…)

Gillian Meier

CUA and SEO Professional

Gillian is a Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Professional. She has worked in the digital industry for 20 years, (more…)

Matthew Wate

User Experience Manager

By day I’m the User Experience Manager at DStv Digital Media, by night, I’m a super hero, footballer, story-teller, zoo keeper or (more…)

Jaco van den Heever

User Experience Manager

Jaco is currently responsible for leading the design team on Vodacom's digital channels. He has over 9 years of experience in the banking, telecoms (more…)


Focus Rooms, Sunning Hill




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